I'm not surprised that John Edwards has decided to keep Amanda Marcotte as his campaign's blogtrix. He has only one path to the presidency and that's around the left flank of Clinton and Obama. He didn't hire Marcotte in spite of all the outrageous things she has written, he hired her because of them. If you read the samplings of her work on the internet, you come away with two impressions. First, she is an ill-informed and unreflective radical who hates - truly hates - religion and conservatives. Second, she is very good at stoking the passions of those who agree with her.
It is, therefore, completely disingenuous for Edwards to say that he believes, of Marcotte and another blogger he hired, that "it was never their intention to malign anyone's faith." If he believes that, he can't read. That was precisely Marcotte's intent and she did it well and that's how she developed a reputation among the "leftroots."
Of course, she won't do that on the campaign blog. You've got to clean up your act for the Show, but hiring her gives Edwards street cred with the kind of people who made Howard Dean and drove Joe Lieberman to the very edge of the Democratic Party (let go, Joe).
People on the religious left feel disrespected and they should. The nascent idea of building a faith-based liberalism looks to be dead in the water for '08.
But having made his choice, Edwards has to take the heat. The problem with Marcotte is not that she used foul language. It is not that she had a few problematic posts. It is that she repeatedly mocked Christianity and attacked her political opponents in an extremely vile and intemperate manner. She repeatedly lost herself in (and stoked) the various paranoias and hysterias of the far left. If this is the path that Edwards wants to take and he does get the nomination, it is going to take quite a lot to return to the reality-based community for the general.